Williams' size makes him tough to block at LB

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

SUWANEE -- Aside from its power running game, one of Grayson's other trademarks during the last three football seasons has been its stingy, star-studded defense, with no fewer than four starters on this year's squad headed to Division I college careers.

Amidst that high-profile group has lurked a monster -- a 6-foot, 280-pound terror ready to pounce and prey on opposing skill players who dare to approach the line of scrimmage.

Of course, off the field Terry Williams is as personable as they come.

But on the field, the Rams' senior has cast an intimidating shadow rarely thrown by a high school defensive lineman, let alone a linebacker.

"I don't know of any others," Grayson coach Mickey Conn when asked if he know of another linebacker as large as Williams. "He's amazing with what he can do. ... When you hit him, it's like hitting a brick wall. ... He's very physical, very hard hitting."

Even when he isn't directly involved in a play, just the threat of someone as large and hard-hitting as Williams can change how an opponent approaches the Grayson defense.

"You can't run your lead play, that's for sure," Conn said. "He'll blow up anything inside because there are no (high school) fullbacks who weigh 280 pounds, either."

As fearsome a presence as Williams can be, it is how often he hits opposing ball carriers is perhaps as amazing as how hard he hits them.

Plenty of opposing skill players, especially running backs, have felt his punishing force over his career at Grayson, but he is more than just a bundle of brute force.

He has combined his size and strength with a lateral movement much quicker than his 4.8-second 40-yard dash time to amass 290 combined tackles and assists over the last three seasons, including a team-best 87 this season.

Those qualities have also helped Williams get in on the action in more multi-dimensional ways.

His four sacks and two interceptions this season both ranked second on the team and he always wants to be where the action is on the field.

"It's pretty much instinct," Williams said following a practice session for Saturday's All-Stars of Gwinnett game, which will be played at Grayson's Britt-Moody Field. "I just feel like I know where the ball is going."

While Conn agrees Williams' instincts are strong, they are not the only reasons he is one of the county's best ball hawks.

The Grayson coach says his senior linebacker spends a lot of time breaking down film of opponents and putting himself in the best position to make plays.

"He's a student of the game," Conn said. "He always has an idea of the other teams' tendencies. He's good with his keys and reads. Most of all, he has that desire."

The desire Williams has had to make plays is surpassed only by his desire to win.

And with as many other stars as the Rams' defense has had over his career -- including fellow Division I commits Shawn Green (Georgia Tech), Joseph Champaign (Navy) and Kori Gaines (Brigham Young) -- it's been important for Williams to be a team player.

It's a quality that should serve him well with Team Kevin Maloof in Saturday's All-Stars of Gwinnett game.

It should also when he joins East Carolina, which recently won its second straight Conference USA championship and where Williams gave a verbal commitment to during the season.

"The whole defense around, we all work together," Williams said. "The defensive line helps out the linebackers, the linebackers help out the (secondary), the (defensive backs) help out the defensive line, and so on. It all comes together.

"It is pretty fun playing in this all-star game. You're playing with the best of the best in the county."